It is difficult to perform epidemiological studies of child abuse in general and FII in particular.

  • One BPSU [4] study puts the figure at 0.5/100,000 for under 16 year olds
  • The figure for children under 1 year rises to 2.8/100,000
Age range
  • FII has it's onset in early years [2]
  • The majority of cases are <5 years of age [4]
  • The median age at diagnosis in the BPSU study was 21.8 months [4]
Position in family
  • Several children in a family may be at risk or just one [1]
Perpetrator characteristics
  • Most often the mother – >80% of cases [1,2,4]
  • May have existing mental health disorders, e.g. somatising and somatoform disorders, eating disorders, alcohol and drug use [2]
  • However, most are not obviously deluded or identifiably mentally unwell [1]
  • They may have personal histories of physical or sexual abuse as a child (25%) or being in local authority care [2]
  • Previous paramedical training is not necessary: 7 – 20% [2]
  • May seem caring and knowledgeable and can be persistent/demanding [1]
  • May be skilled at concealing activities and misleading professionals [3]
  • May deny activities when challenged and may seek alternative health care or move to another area thus continuing the risk to the child [3]
Post a comment

Leave a Comment